New Jersey (NJ) native son, Bruce Springsteen, has made cars and roads a central motif for many hit songs. From “Pink Cadillac” to “Thunder Road,” cars and highways have provided characters in the songs with a pathway to a better life. It is appropriate then that the State of New Jersey is embarking on a significant push to promote the electrification of the transportation sector as almost half of the State’s greenhouse gas emissions come from the transportation sector. This policy effort, Charge Up New Jersey, will transition at least 25% of the government-owned vehicle fleet to EVs and register new 330,000 EVs by December 31, 2025. NJ has launched incentive programs to encourage public entities to convert their internal combustion fleets to electric and for consumers to buy EVs. Additionally, the State has recently provided model ordinances to municipalities to simplify and streamline the permitting process for EV charging installations. A New Jersey electric company is taking the lead in preparing the way for electric vehicles. They plan to invest over $150 million over the next six years to build out the EV charging infrastructure.
Their program will provide significant incentives for the installation of residential, commercial, and governmental charging stations. Residential customers are eligible for up to $5,000, commercial up to $10,000 and public charging up to $100,000. These incentives are designed to cover the cost of needed electrical system upgrades like panels and breakers, not rebates for the chargers themselves. The utility will provide rate incentives to encourage off-peak vehicle charging to promote the purchase of electric vehicles. ANB Systems is supporting this effort by providing eTRACK+ as the tracking system of record. Customers can log in and submit their incentive application through the utility customer portal and upload their contractor invoices, receipts of equipment purchases, and approved city building permits.
Potentially, the incentive application can be approved almost instantly with little to no action for utility staff. eTRACK+ and the Document Recognition System will automatically validate the customer account number, verify the equipment purchases and move the project through to approval. If there is a discrepancy, the customers are notified about any corrections that need to be made in real-time.
As NJ makes EV charging widely available, they stand to take a leadership position in the race to electrify transportation. In fact, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities announced last week that the incentive budgets for the current program year are already 95% issued or reserved. They seem to have the winning plan to solve vehicle electrification’s “chicken or egg” scenario. Build out the charging infrastructure, and the EVs will follow. While the song title “Electric Road” doesn’t evoke the same response as “Thunder Road,” perhaps NJ could prevail on Mr. Springsteen to write an ode to electric vehicles. Maybe something like “Working on the [Electric] Highway.”
Written by – Michael Stockard
Michael Stockard is an independent consultant at Stockard Energy Advising and is a member of the Advisory Panel at ANB Systems. Michael has over 40 years of experience in the design and implementation of demand-side management programs.